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An arginine to cysteine(252) mutation in insulin receptors from a patient with severe insulin resistance inhibits receptor internalisation but preserves signalling events.

AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: We examined the properties of a mutant insulin receptor (IR) with an Arg(252) to Cys (IR(R252C)) substitution in the alpha-subunit originally identified in a patient with extreme insulin resistance and acanthosis nigricans. METHODS: We studied IR cell biology and signalling pathways in Chinese Hamster Ovary cells overexpressing this IR(R252C). RESULTS: Our investigation showed an impairment in insulin binding to IR(R252C) related mostly to a reduced affinity of the receptor for insulin and to a reduced rate of IR(R252C) maturation; an inhibition of IR(R252C)-mediated endocytosis resulting in a decreased insulin degradation and insulin-induced receptor down-regulation; a maintenance of IR(R252C) on microvilli even in the presence of insulin; a similar autophosphorylation of mutant IR(R252C) followed by IRS 1/IRS 2 phosphorylation, p85 association with IRS 1 and IRS 2 and Akt phosphorylation similar to those observed in cells expressing wild type IR (IRwt); and finally, a reduced insulin-induced Shc phosphorylation accompanied by decreased ERK1/2 phosphorylation and activity and of thymidine incorporation into DNA in cells expressing IR(R252C) as compared to cells expressing IRwt. CONCLUSION/INTERPRETATION: These observations suggest that: parameters other than tyrosine kinase activation participate in or control the first steps of IR internalisation or both; IR-mediated IRS 1/2 phosphorylation can be achieved from the cell surface and microvilli in particular; Shc phosphorylation and its subsequent signalling pathway might require IR internalisation; defective IR endocytosis correlates with an enhancement of some biological responses to insulin and attenuation of others.

Pubmed ID: 12107746


  • Hamer I
  • Foti M
  • Emkey R
  • Cordier-Bussat M
  • Philippe J
  • De Meyts P
  • Maeder C
  • Kahn CR
  • Carpentier JL



Publication Data

May 10, 2002

Associated Grants


Mesh Terms

  • Acanthosis Nigricans
  • Adult
  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • Animals
  • Arginine
  • CHO Cells
  • Cricetinae
  • Cysteine
  • DNA
  • Humans
  • Insulin
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Male
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Mutation
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Subunits
  • Protein Transport
  • Receptor, Insulin
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Signal Transduction
  • Thymidine
  • Transfection